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2014 Kia Cadenza Limited - Heels on Wheels Review By Katrina Ramser

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2014 Kia Cadenza Limited

By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

KATRINA SAYS: The all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza sedan provides the ultimate in performance, luxury and comfort in two distinguished trims with the limitation being a lack of engine choices.

The Cadenza hopes to captivate shoppers with all the marquee qualities of a modern sedan: It’s technologically advanced, sleek and sophisticated, and offered at a reasonable price. Performance is spirited under direction of a gasoline-direct injection 3.3-liter V6 engine with 293 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque.

I drove a 2014 Kia Cadenza with the 3.3-liter V6, a sport-tuned suspension and a six-speed automatic transmission. Available in just two trims – Premium or Limited – my Limited model featured the following standard features: dual-zone climate control; an upgraded Infinity audio system; UVO eServices telematics; backup camera; a navigation system with an eight-inch touchscreen; heated front seats; power front seating; push-button start; leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls; back-up sensors; LED fog lights; nineteen-inch wheels; a dual panoramic sunroof; heated steering wheel; a power retractable rear sunshade; and a safety tech suite. Price as described comes to $42,450.

This all-new sedan is poised against other accessible full-size sedan models dressed up in their finest trims, like the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon and the Chevy Impala. See my separate review for the Premium trim.


Stylish But Comfortable Results: From the signature grille flagged by nestled crystalline headlights to the wide and lowered front fascia, the Cadenza conveys a message of elegance and power from every angle. Kia’s in-car UVO eServices adds voice-command navigation, music and calls, in addition to an eight-inch high-resolution touchscreen display with a backup camera. Having driven the Premium and been impressed, the Limited upgrades like soft-touch white Nappa leather, wood-grain accents and a power retractable sunshade further set this sedan apart. In comparison, the Avalon does feature a more avant-garde center stack contoured to the driver, but lacks the Cadenza’s panoramic moonroof and heated steering wheel. The Chevrolet Impala has a glide-up navigation screen; while the Ford Taurus allows the front display to play DVD movies when in Park.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the 2014 Kia Cadenza as a Top Safety Pick with “Good” results in every crash test area. The Limited is equipped with a Blind Spot Detection System that subtly reminds you of objects not in your field of view with visual and audible signals; and a Lane Departure Warning System to help maintain vehicle cadence by monitoring your position on the road.

Cost Issues: The Cadenza follows the philosophy of an Acura: Give as much convenience and luxury as possible with one price tag. The Premium starts at $35,100 with the Limited at $42,450. A big spread, but that Limited does add meaningful comfort. The Toyota Avalon Limited is priced at $39,650.

Activity & Performance Ability: Responsive and smooth acceleration supported by excellent handling give the Cadenza its cadence credentials – never does this larger sedan lag or feel bulky carving out tight turns. The advanced safety technology is becoming more and more a welcomed benefit as it takes the tension out of everyday driving situations like backing out or changing lanes.

The Green Concern: The 3.3-liter V6 gets 19-city and 28-highway for a combined 22 miles-per-gallon. Unlike many competitors, the Cadenza only offers one engine – the Taurus has the option of a turbocharged 240-horsepower 2-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with a fuel economy of 22 miles-per-gallon city and 32 highway. The Avalon has a Hybrid version with a combined 40 miles-per-gallon.

High expectations will be met with the all-new 2014 Kia Cadenza, as this full-size sedan never deviates from its path in providing an immeasurable amount of excellent performance, luxury and comfort with two distinguished trims. The only ding might be the lack of engine choices – perhaps we will see a hybrid or smaller turbocharged engine next year.

2014 Katrina Ramser